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Speak and communicate

Video: The Best Language Environment for Your Child

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 6:50 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Brooke reciting classical Chinese poetry

Here’s a fact about young children: they LOVE language. It’s an absolute joy for them to learn and recite anything. And they do it effortlessly. They can learn Jack and Jill went up the hill just as easily as a Shakespearean sonnet.

Here are some videos of B and M reciting the Three Word Classic, Confucius’ Great Learning and several Tang poems.  These classical Chinese poems and writings are critical to helping children understand and appreciate Chinese language, culture and history, especially as they get into elementary and middle school. Knowing this, I memorized a couple stanzas of the Great Learnings and brushed up on Tang poems I learned as a child, then recited them to B and M. We sang Itsy Bitsy Spider at the same time we recited Confucius – and they picked it all up. To a 12-year-old, memorization is tedious and painful. But to a 2-year-old, there’s almost no greater joy. 

Children will imitate the language they hear in their environment. Therefore when it comes to language in general, I recommend speaking the most beautiful, difficult and sophisticated version of your language to them. Use hard vocabulary words. Enunciate. Be very specific in your word choices – instead of ‘look at that butterfly,” say, “look at that yellow and black Monarch butterfly.” And if you’re an English speaker, incorporate Shakespeare. It’s not too early. You’re doing them a favor by exposing them to it now!

Commonly-Asked Questions about My DVD and Book

Thursday, August 29th, 2013 7:51 pm | By Stephanie Woo

A lot of people have been asking me questions about the difference between my book, Raising Your Twins: Real Life Tips on Parenting with Ease (Without Kicking Your Spouse to the Curb) and my DVD, Raising Your Twins: Real Life Tips on Setting Up the Ultimate Home Environment. Here are the answers to some commonly-asked questions.

Does the Raising Your Twins DVD contain the same content as the Raising Your Twins book? 

No, the book and the DVD cover different ages, so they have different content. The book covers newborn to 18 months. The DVD covers ages 1 to 4 years old. 

I only have one child, will this work for me or is it only for parents with twins? 

Don’t let the title fool you! Everything in the book and DVD will work for you whether you have one child, two young children close in age OR multiples. If it works for two children, it will work for one! 

Does the DVD contain similar content as your Youtube vidoes? 

The DVD is much more comprehensive. It was shot over 3 days with a professional videographer. With over 30 hours of footage edited down to 2 hours, only the best footage made it to the DVD. You’ve seen B and M put on jackets and make scrambled eggs on Youtube, but in the DVD, you will learn exactly how to replicate it at home with your child, including what you need to buy and prepare, how to present the activities, and the whole ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind every activity. The DVD covers everything from language, fine motor skills, care-of-the-self, care-of-the-environment to kitchen skills. If you are able to apply everything in the DVD, you will have an excellent Montessori home environment. 

How old were your children when you filmed this? How many episodes are they in?

This DVD was filmed over 3 days on their 2nd birthday. You will see them in action in Episodes 2 through 8.

What can I get out of this DVD? 

This DVD contains an incredible amount of valuable content. In this 121-minute, 8-episode series, you will learn how to set up every single room of the home as well as how to set up and do 24+ Montessori-based activities with your children. You will hear me talk about the big picture behind your child’s development, see actual children doing the work and receive a detailed instruction booklet, complete with pictures and resources. This DVD is essential for parents who want to raise a child the Montessori Way at home. It’s for the home-schooling parents, the parents who can’t find a good Montessori school nearby or can’t afford one, the parents who want to prepare their child for Montessori in the future or for parents who just want to try it out.  

On top of all this, you will get a complimentary 30-minute consultation with me, if you choose. This DVD is originally priced at $147, but is currently on sale for a limited time for $97. I can guarantee you will not find this much valuable content for this price anywhere else. 

I’m a nanny. Will this be helpful for me? 

Absolutely. There are many activities you can do with the child you take care of. The Back to Basics and Language episodes will be particularly useful for the child under 18 months. By 18 months, all the episodes will be applicable. If you don’t have a background in child development, there will be lots of helpful information for you. If you do have a background in child development, you will get lots of ideas for new activities.

What’s in each episode, exactly?

In Episode 1, I give you a tour of my Baltimore home and show you the most important components to consider for your child when designing each room in your home. Includes the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, play area, dressing area and cleaning area.

In Episode 2, I show you several easy, basic activities for the youngest toddler. I guarantee your child will LOVE at least a couple if not all of them. AND they are essential building blocks for good gross and fine motor skill development.

In Episode 3, I show you how to teach your child to put on different items of clothing and accessories. Includes detailed description of what to look for when you’re shopping for clothes. B and M demonstrates how it’s done. 

In Episode 4, I show you some activities that parents automatically do for their children. Teach your children to do these things and your life will get so much easier.  

In Episode 5, I show you some essential fine motor skills, including how to teach your child to cut with scissors, glue and sew with a needle. The goal is not to prove how capable your child is. The goal is to engage your child in activities they enjoy. And they will love some of these. 

In Episode 6, I give you strategies on how to maximize your child’s language ability. What will bring out the best language skills? What can you do to make that happen? What activities will enhance those abilities? What are the best books to read? How do you read to a child? Find out the answers and way more in this episode.  

In Episodes 7 and 8, I show you what you need to prepare to teach your children to bake and cook successfully. Watch B and M cook four healthy, delicious recipes your child will love to make (and eat!)

Where can I buy the book and DVD?

The book and DVD are both available through www.RaisingYourTwins.com. The kindle version of the book is also available through Amazon here.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes, we do. You will have the option of entering an international address at check-out.

What forms of payment do you accept?

When you order through www.RaisingYourTwins.com, you can use Visa, Mastercard or American Express. If you would like to pay by check, please email me directly at stephanie@montessorionthedouble.com

When can I expect my order?

We ship out new orders everyday (except Sunday) from Portland, OR through USPS. If you are on the West Coast, your order will arrive sooner than the East Coast. USPS guarantees your order will arrive within 7-10 business days.

What if I don’t love it? 

If you are dissatisfied with the book or the DVD for any reason, return it and you will receive a refund, no questions asked. 

How can I order now?

Visit www.RaisingYourTwins.com and you will be able to order the book, DVD or both! 

How to React to an Angry Toddler Who Spits and Throws Things

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 1:05 pm | By Stephanie Woo

It was bathtime. B and M are sitting in the bathtub while I’m reaching in to brush M’s teeth. She shakes her head from left to right and back again to dodge the toothbrush. I give up. She then takes her bath spray bottle and starts spraying first Brooke, then me. I say sternly, “You can spray water at the wall, but not at people.” Then she opens the bottle, takes a sip and spits the water out of the bathtub onto my feet. “No. Spitting. Water.” I say even more loudly. She throws the spray bottle on the floor, turns her head toward the wall and refuses to look at me. 

I was about to blow up when I stopped myself. Something was off. This was not a matter of setting more boundaries. She was doing this on purpose. Then a voice from somewhere reminded me: Connection Before Correction. 

I picked her up out of the bathtub (we have a rule that when you pour water outside of the tub, you get taken out). She starts to resist, but then, I get really close to her cheek and start sniffing exaggeratedly. “Hmmm…your cheeks smell good!” She smiles. I then take her feet and put it right up to my nose, “Do your feet smell good?” She laughs. I then bend her over to smell her back. She squeals with delight. Then she gives me her arm to smell. Then her hair.  “Smell, Mama!” We play and play. I finally give her a huge hug, look her in the eyes and tell her that she is delicious-smelling all over. 

I pick up her toothbrush. Without me saying a word, she opens her mouth and waits. I take the opportunity and give her a thorough flossing and brushing (I do this twice a week and let them brush their own teeth the other days). She then puts on her pajamas, runs off to play and is completely absorbed in independent Lego-building till I announce that it’s bedtime.  

In those moments of anger and frustration, I often want to go the route of yelling and punishing. I mean, don’t you? On bad days, I’m already yelling before I can stop myself. But over and over, I’ve witnessed just how ineffective it is. It may work for a few moments, but then it’ll just pop up somewhere else.

It turns out nothing works as well as connecting – I mean the genuine kind where you are fully present while playing, tickling, hugging, kissing, loving them. 5 minutes of it, and I find the children often go off to do their own thing: happy, fulfilled and satisfied.